5 Ways to Avoid Bringing Work Stress Home

All careers have some kind of stress attached to them, and sometimes that stress follows us off the job site and into our homes. Don’t let this affect your life outside of work and your family. You can set up your daily routine to help you keep the stresses of your job from bleeding over into your time at home. Here are 5 things you can do to avoid bringing work stress home with you after you’ve clocked out: 

  1. Decompress: Create a healthy “decompression” habit between work hours and time with your family. The hour or so after work is a great time to do an activity that shifts your mental focus from your work life to your home life. Consider this a happy hour, without the bar! This activity could be something like taking a short walk in a park that’s on your commute route, grabbing a healthy snack from a favorite bakery, or listening to a podcast or audio book in your car. 
  1. Turn Off Notifications: Except in emergency situations, try to maintain firm boundaries on communications outside of work hours. Many email services make it possible to turn off notifications for emails during set times, such as the weekends or a certain time every evening. Make it clear to your coworkers what your boundaries are, and stick to them.
  1. Exercise: Stop by the gym on your way home from work to sweat out the stress! The hour or so immediately after work is a great time to squeeze in some exercise, especially if you’re not a fan of working out in the morning. 
  1. Meditation: Sometimes the best thing to do to alleviate stress from work is… nothing! Meditation might seem like you’re not doing much on the outside, but it does wonders for your stress levels. A 15-30 minute meditation session can reduce blood pressure and stress hormone levels, making you calmer and better able to enjoy spending time with your family after a long day at work. 
  1. Vent, but not all night: Our partners and family members are usually awesome about listening to us vent about our work stresses, but it isn’t always healthy to endlessly complain about hard-to-deal-with coworkers. If you do that, it’s like they’re right there along with you, causing stress on the job and at home, too! Set a timer, either on your phone or just mentally, for how long you’ll “let” yourself vent about work related issues. Then, the issues they cause you at work won’t affect your home life.